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Grande Ronde River Description

The Grande Ronde River slices a 3,000 foot deep canyon through flood-basalt flows that originated from the Grande Ronde volcano when it was active 15 million years ago.

This is a moderate-gradient freestone river supporting abundant caddis and stonefly populations and excellent mayfly hatches. This river is a tributary of the mighty snake river and is some 182 miles in length. The mouth of the Grand Ronde is at mile 169 of the Snake or 493 miles from the Mouth of the Columbia River. 

The weather on the Grand Ronde River can change quickly and I advise you go prepared for anything. Summer months are very dry and quite warm, while spring and fall can have temperature ranges from 30’ish to the high 90’s. Snow can come early and quickly, watch the weather report closely.

There are several target species living in the Grand Ronde River system. Probably the most popular are the Pacific Steelhead. These fish are considered “A” run fish and average 24-28” in length. That having been said, there have been an increasing number of larger fish, considered “B” run, 28”-36”. Fish start arriving, most years, in late August and early September. If you are a strike indicator angler, dead drifting single egg patterns and stone fly nymphs is a sure bet.

Swinging flies is best in the warmer months but can go late into the season and even winter; September all the way through late November and even into February.  Small spey flies and muddlers are a popular favorite. Floating lines and light sinking poly leaders are an angler’s staple on the Grand Ronde.

The lower section of the Grand Ronde holds a great population of migrating Smallmouth Bass. When the water warms through the summer months and into late fall you can find Smallies just about everywhere from Troy down to the Snake.  Streamers, chartreuse and white, black and purple are all very good Smallie colors.

Rainbow trout can be found throughout the entire region with better trout fishing found in the upper sections where the water is cooler. Trout are available year round.

The trout fishing is usually a mix of dry and wet fly fishing, starting the day with nymphs and streamers and switching to dries in late morning.  June's hatches favor stoneflies and caddis. In July, August and September dries and hoppers.  The Grand Ronde also has a very prolific October caddis hatch that can take place deep into November.